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Game Grades - Panthers at Falcons


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In a vastly improved performance, the Panthers still show no sign of a killer instinct.

On with the grades:

Offense:

Overall the offense performed well enough to win the game given an adequate defense. Cam Newton returned to his inspiring form and Greg Olsen emerged as a real threat for other defenses to worry about. Even Armanti Edwards looked great in his one reception, bursting for a first down on a screen. The Panthers collectively ran for 199 yards, exposing the Falcons' biggest weakness.

Offensive Grade: B

Defense:

As improved as the offense was, the defense was even more so. It was refreshing to see pressure being applied to Matt Ryan early and often. Open field tackling is still sub par, players relying on a big bit more than wrapping up. This should be a very fixable issue, but is a lingering hindrance.

Overall, the execution of the defense was adequate. Their weakness is still giving up the big passing play, which won't change until more talent is developed or acquired at the free safety position.

Luke Kuechly, despite recent uninformed fan opinion, is a star in the making. The Panthers coaching staff surely are considering starting him in the middle where he can have the biggest impact. He is currently our best linebacker.

Defensive Grade: B


Coaching:

The biggest problem I have with the coaching is the lack of an overall killer instinct.

On offense, the Panthers went into "run the clock" mode with a slim lead and over three minutes left on the clock. Against an explosive offense in their own house, this is a losing proposition. Can we please rip out the wildcat pages of the playbook and burn them? I don't recall it ever working, and certainly don't recall it working with 9 falcons in the box.

On Defense, the Panthers backed off the pressure being applied and gave Matt Ryan plenty of time to pick apart the Panthers biggest weakness. Again, no killer instinct. Josh Norman not understanding keeping the Falcons in the field of play late is not entirely his fault, that is on the coaching staff.

In short, as soon as the Panthers play "not to lose", longtime fans brace for a letdown. The Panthers need their teeth in a fight, the coaching staff needs to stop pulling them.

The coaching staff appears to be the weakest link in the organization. If I can see it, I am positive Jerry Richardson can see it. Rivera just may not be cut out for a head coaching job in this league. If the Panthers fail to win a few games soon... he may not last the season.

Coaching Grade: C-
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Posted · Report post

Good points, and on coaching, I think we'd be remiss to overlook the clock management head-scratcher to end the first half. No killer instinct then either.
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you nailed it.. i really dont think rivera is that bad, but he really needs to learn clock managment. it was terrible at the end of the 2nd quarter. then we need to run the clock out with a few minutes left and chud calls a wildcat run. woulda been nice to see them be aggressive and go for it on 4th and 1 but i agree with running down the clock, moving back 5 yards and punting. the punt was executed perfectly. im pretty sure i seen gamble going after matt ryan on that hail mary. wtf mcderpmott hes our best db and you chose to send him in on a blitz at that particular moment? i was pissed when rivera brought in mcdermott, and i was right about him, and watching rivera look like a robot is getting old.. show some damn type emotion!

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What's Naks overall grade?
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Good points on coaching, a fair grade. Bad clock mgmt to close the 2nd quarter. I know we had the ball at the beginning of the third, but as you said, no killer instinct. That was John Fox-like, actually.

Bad play calls on the second to last drive. Wildcat, wtf?

Good decision to punt at the end, great special team play to down it at the one. Game over right? Uhh, man.

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Naka has a new grade scale Z----------------!

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Interesting points, however, I provide a counter-argument. You say we lacked "killer instinct" which I agree with. However, the playing not to lose argument doesn't really support that notion, as you mentioned we "rushed for 199 yards, exposing the Falcons weakness". With all we have tied up in the running game both financially and talent wise, I have no problem trying to run (literally) the clock out.

Now if you wanted to make the argument that we showed a lack of killer instinct on 4 and 1, with Cam Newton (6'6") as our qb, then I would agree.

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[quote name='SOJA' timestamp='1349097431' post='1929224']With all we have tied up in the running game both financially and talent wise, I have no problem trying to run (literally) the clock out.
[/quote]

I would agree if they were not stacking 9 players in the box. At some point when the defense is daring you to pass by leaving the field wide open, you should take a shot. Or at the very least, don't run the wildcat. :(
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Coaching staff gets an F. Why are they asking things of Nakamura that he is physically not capable of doing? That is what lost us the game. Good coaches don't do that- good coaches know a players strengths and weaknesses and puts them in a position to succeed.

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Defense should be a C at best Zod. Giving up 30 points, 360 yards passing 3 TDs to Matty Ice, 103 yards to Turner (on 13 carries) along with 3 catches for 68 yards. White posts 8 catches for 169 and 2 TDs. And thats a good performance? Defense is so horrible that we see our D line FINALLY step up and get pressure and we think they're "good". In the past we used to hang our hat on D so I understand the need to act like its not as bad as it seems. But the defense still has a lot of work to do.
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[quote name='Zod' timestamp='1349099340' post='1929256']
I would agree if they were not stacking 9 players in the box. At some point when the defense is daring you to pass by leaving the field wide open, you should take a shot. Or at the very least, don't run the wildcat. :(
[/quote]


this is also true. I'm not a fan of the Wildcat either, I think its gimmicky and inefficient. Furthermore, Cam runs so well why we ever would take him from behind center is beyond me.

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[quote name='Keith Moons Liver' timestamp='1349099779' post='1929262']
Coaching staff gets an F. Why are they asking things of Nakamura that he is physically not capable of doing? That is what lost us the game. Good coaches don't do that- good coaches know a players strengths and weaknesses and puts them in a position to succeed.
[/quote]

Nakamura could have deflected both passes that he gave up for long gains. His technique was horrible. He tried to pick off both passes while backpedaling. You learn not to do that in high school.. he should have ran stride for stride with his man, and batted the pass. He would have been able to get up higher instead of trying to jump backwards with a 2 inch vertical. It seems to me that Nakamura doesn't know his own physical limitations. The coaches put him in the right position.. but Nakamura failed to execute.
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[quote name='Lout' timestamp='1349100616' post='1929279']
Nakamura could have deflected both passes that he gave up for long gains. His technique was horrible. He tried to pick off both passes while backpedaling. You learn not to do that in high school.. he should have ran stride for stride with his man, and batted the pass. He would have been able to get up higher instead of trying to jump backwards with a 2 inch vertical. It seems to me that Nakamura doesn't know his own physical limitations. The coaches put him in the right position.. but Nakamura failed to execute.
[/quote]


this, on the first touchdown he did a 360 when trying to locate the ball. That's horrible form

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[quote name='Lout' timestamp='1349100616' post='1929279']
Nakamura could have deflected both passes that he gave up for long gains. His technique was horrible. He tried to pick off both passes while backpedaling. You learn not to do that in high school.. he should have ran stride for stride with his man, and batted the pass. He would have been able to get up higher instead of trying to jump backwards with a 2 inch vertical. It seems to me that Nakamura doesn't know his own physical limitations. The coaches put him in the right position.. but Nakamura failed to execute.
[/quote]
This only strengthens my point. If he is so bad, and I agree he is, why the heck are we relying on him so much on the field? He just isn't good enough to do what we ask of him. I don't know if it's the coaches fault or the GMs fault or some combination of both- but somebody in a high position on our team is screwing up big time. Considering we could make this same argument for several positions on both sides of the ball, I think I know who he is.

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[quote name='Zod' timestamp='1349092430' post='1929127']
In a vastly improved performance, the Panthers still show no sign of a killer instinct.

On with the grades:

Offense:

Overall the offense performed well enough to win the game given an adequate defense. Cam Newton returned to his inspiring form and Greg Olsen emerged as a real threat for other defenses to worry about. Even Armanti Edwards looked great in his one reception, bursting for a first down on a screen. The Panthers collectively ran for 199 yards, exposing the Falcons' biggest weakness.

Offensive Grade: B

Defense:

As improved as the offense was, the defense was even more so. It was refreshing to see pressure being applied to Matt Ryan early and often. Open field tackling is still sub par, players relying on a big bit more than wrapping up. This should be a very fixable issue, but is a lingering hindrance.

Overall, the execution of the defense was adequate. Their weakness is still giving up the big passing play, which won't change until more talent is developed or acquired at the free safety position.

Luke Kuechly, despite recent uninformed fan opinion, is a star in the making. The Panthers coaching staff surely are considering starting him in the middle where he can have the biggest impact. He is currently our best linebacker.

Defensive Grade: B


Coaching:

The biggest problem I have with the coaching is the lack of an overall killer instinct.

On offense, the Panthers went into "run the clock" mode with a slim lead and over three minutes left on the clock. Against an explosive offense in their own house, this is a losing proposition. Can we please rip out the wildcat pages of the playbook and burn them? I don't recall it ever working, and certainly don't recall it working with 9 falcons in the box.

On Defense, the Panthers backed off the pressure being applied and gave Matt Ryan plenty of time to pick apart the Panthers biggest weakness. Again, no killer instinct. Josh Norman not understanding keeping the Falcons in the field of play late is not entirely his fault, that is on the coaching staff.

In short, as soon as the Panthers play "not to lose", longtime fans brace for a letdown. The Panthers need their teeth in a fight, the coaching staff needs to stop pulling them.

The coaching staff appears to be the weakest link in the organization. If I can see it, I am positive Jerry Richardson can see it. Rivera just may not be cut out for a head coaching job in this league. If the Panthers fail to win a few games soon... he may not last the season.

Coaching Grade: C-
[/quote]

Wooow. Rivera gone after year 2? A month ago I would have said you're crazy. Now it doesn't seem too improbable.
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Tough to grade the defense. For all the great play from our dline almost all of it was negated by 43's play and poor tackling all around.

Rivera mentioned the team finding it's identity. They had a chance to form that identity on the last drive of the game but the coaching staff failed to man up. Running the wildcat when you have Cam as your QB is ridiculous, he's already the best runner to put in anyway, hiking it to Williams just lets the defense know exactly what you're going to do and lets them tee off against it.

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[quote name='Keith Moons Liver' timestamp='1349100787' post='1929289']
This only strengthens my point. If he is so bad, and I agree he is, why the heck are we relying on him so much on the field? He just isn't good enough to do what we ask of him. I don't know if it's the coaches fault or the GMs fault or some combination of both- but somebody in a high position on our team is screwing up big time. Considering we could make this same argument for several positions on both sides of the ball, I think I know who he is.
[/quote]

From what I remember during preseason.. Rivera chose Nakamura over the more athletic Sherrod Martin, knowing in full of Nakamura's physical limitations, because he is a better communicator on the field. Nakamura is more predictable, so they can gameplan and call plays with more confidence knowing that the FS will be in the correct spot on the field. We need a guy with Sherrod Martin's athletic ability and Nakamura's brain. That is the ingredients for a pro-bowl safety. Wish we could have gotten Mark Barron in the draft. I think we'd be 3-1 right now had we done so. Would have won the Bucs game, and the Falcons game.

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QB : [b]B[/b]
Running game : [b]B+[/b]
Wr/Te : [b]B-[/b] [i]([b]-[/b] because Lafell was MIA)[/i]
O-Line - [b]B[/b]
Special team : [b]C[/b]
DEs :[b] A+[/b]
DT : [b]D[/b]
LBs : [b]C[/b]
DBs : [b]C-[/b]

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[i]1 step forward 2 steps back.........[/i]
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[quote name='nobody' timestamp='1349105843' post='1929478']
[i]1 step forward 2 steps back.........[/i]
[/quote]

Theme of this team over the years..

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[quote name='King Taharqa' timestamp='1349100258' post='1929268']
Defense should be a C at best Zod. Giving up 30 points, 360 yards passing 3 TDs to Matty Ice, 103 yards to Turner (on 13 carries) along with 3 catches for 68 yards. White posts 8 catches for 169 and 2 TDs. And thats a good performance? Defense is so horrible that we see our D line FINALLY step up and get pressure and we think they're "good". In the past we used to hang our hat on D so I understand the need to act like its not as bad as it seems. But the defense still has a lot of work to do.
[/quote]

I can somewhat repeat, somewhat live with Ryan and White gashing us....but when Michael Turner who had a total of 155 yards through his first 3 games, goes out and puts up 171 on us yesterday, on over 12 yards per touch that's inexcusable.

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[quote name='Zod' timestamp='1349092430' post='1929127']
In a vastly improved performance, the Panthers still show no sign of a killer instinct.

On with the grades:

Offense:

Overall the offense performed well enough to win the game given an adequate defense. Cam Newton returned to his inspiring form and Greg Olsen emerged as a real threat for other defenses to worry about. Even Armanti Edwards looked great in his one reception, bursting for a first down on a screen. The Panthers collectively ran for 199 yards, exposing the Falcons' biggest weakness.

Offensive Grade: B

Defense:

As improved as the offense was, the defense was even more so. It was refreshing to see pressure being applied to Matt Ryan early and often. Open field tackling is still sub par, players relying on a big bit more than wrapping up. This should be a very fixable issue, but is a lingering hindrance.

Overall, the execution of the defense was adequate. Their weakness is still giving up the big passing play, which won't change until more talent is developed or acquired at the free safety position.

Luke Kuechly, despite recent uninformed fan opinion, is a star in the making. The Panthers coaching staff surely are considering starting him in the middle where he can have the biggest impact. He is currently our best linebacker.

Defensive Grade: B


Coaching:

The biggest problem I have with the coaching is the lack of an overall killer instinct.

On offense, the Panthers went into "run the clock" mode with a slim lead and over three minutes left on the clock. Against an explosive offense in their own house, this is a losing proposition. Can we please rip out the wildcat pages of the playbook and burn them? I don't recall it ever working, and certainly don't recall it working with 9 falcons in the box.

On Defense, the Panthers backed off the pressure being applied and gave Matt Ryan plenty of time to pick apart the Panthers biggest weakness. Again, no killer instinct. Josh Norman not understanding keeping the Falcons in the field of play late is not entirely his fault, that is on the coaching staff.

In short, as soon as the Panthers play "not to lose", longtime fans brace for a letdown. The Panthers need their teeth in a fight, the coaching staff needs to stop pulling them.

The coaching staff appears to be the weakest link in the organization. If I can see it, I am positive Jerry Richardson can see it. Rivera just may not be cut out for a head coaching job in this league. If the Panthers fail to win a few games soon... he may not last the season.

Coaching Grade: C-
[/quote]

Damn dude u honestly think that Rivera could be fired during this season?

That would be extremely surprising

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dudes played their asses off. coaching failed them. again. good article.
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Just look at all the coaching fails we have had all year. Being unprepared to play a new Bucs scheme we had all offseason to try and gameplane for. Not being able to get remotely ready for a thursday night game. All the obvious time management misjudgments that Ron head scratchingly says they would do the same thing if they had the choice now. Putting personnel on the field that either isn't ready to play or should not be out their in the first place. Tackling is nonexistant.

Is it only a matter of time before the players go Raheem Morris on Rivera?

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The defense as a collective whole played pretty badly. Aside from some spot-on INDIVIDUAL performances, this game was no different from the Giants' one from a defensive standpoint.

Even with 7 sacks, Ryan was hardly rattled, had a sky high QB percentage, and not to mention both White and Turner's career days (despite Turner being an absolute afterthought so far this year)

Offense (More so Cam, than anything else) was superb today.

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